Skip to content

NAN COVD-19 Bulletin

NAN COVD-19 Bulletin

April 13, 2020

Nishnawbe Aski Nation COVID-19 Update

Ontario Extends Emergency Orders to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

  • The Ontario government has extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until April 23, 2020, including the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings and the prohibition of price gouging.
    • Prohibiting recreational camping on Crown land as of April 9, 2020. Under the emergency order, no individual can camp on Crown land, including the placement of tents or other camping structures, while the order is in effect.
    • This does not prohibit NAN members from engaging in traditional land-based activities (ie. hunting).

Ontario Announcement on Expanded Testing for COVID-19

  • The guidance for who is tested in Indigenous communities is now broader than it is for who is tested outside of Indigenous communities. 
  • Provincial guidance for who is tested in Indigenous communities is now anyone who has ANY of the following symptoms:
  • Fever (37.8 degrees C or greater) OR
    • Any new/worsening acute respiratory illness syndrome OR
    • Clinical/radiological evidence of pneumonia.
  • For the general Ontario population, testing is recommended for those who have a fever and/or cough AND may have been exposed to the virus (travel to an impacted area, close contact with confirmed or probable case, close contact with some with acute respiratory illness who has also been to an impacted area).
  • Ontario is also recommending that testing be considered for Elders and children, even if they have atypical symptoms, as well as community testing for contacts if there is a confirmed case in a community. 

Federal Announcement on Rapid Testing

  • Health Canada has approved a new rapid test for COVID-19 that can produce results in under an hour, which is expected to alleviate the pressure on public health laboratories and help circumvent testing kit shortages.
  • An Ottawa-based company (Spartan Bioscience) received approval over the weekend and will be ready to start shipping tests for the federal and provincial governments as early as Monday.
  • NAN will be working with Ontario and First Nations Inuit Health Branch (FNHIB) to ensure that NAN communities have access to these rapid tests and to ensure the guidelines for their use takes into account the needs and complexities of our First Nations.
  • NAN will advocate to have the kits available and in all NAN communities through the NAN Trilateral Table. An update will be provided during our next NAN Leadership conference call.

Pandemic Planning

  • Pandemic Planning is very important at the community level because it creates a structure that guides progress.
  • NAN has partnered with Team Rubicon to provide Pandemic Planning assistance to NAN communities and Tribal Councils.
  • Team Rubicon has successfully helped one NAN community develop a Pandemic Plan.
  • NAN is asking all communities who need assistance with Pandemic Planning to email so that we can connect you with Team Rubicon.
  • If your community already has a Pandemic Plan developed, we ask that you send your plan to This so that NAN knows what your plan is and how to best assist your community in its operation and implementation.

NAN Legal Services & NAN Justice

  • The NAN Legal Board of Directors met on April 9, to review draft 5 of the MOU.
  • Provisions were added to address:
    • Capacity issues for the added work;
    • Communications with Chief and Council before an inmate is released; and
    • Any Band Council Resolutions (BCR) that need to be known before an inmate is released.
  • The current draft has been sent to the Ministry of Attorney General – Indigenous Justice Division for their review of the new provisions.
    • Will hear back from them on Tuesday April 14.

Nishnawbe Aski Police Services – NAPS

  • Many of the NAPS officers are now starting the 14 days in / 14 days out schedule.
  • A conference call to discuss the enforcement of community public health and safety measures and the BCR templates will take place on Tuesday April 14 at 11 am EST/ 10 am CST.
    • First Nations Border Closure – BCR Template (if a BCR has not been passed)
    • Supplementary Border Closure – BCR Template (if a BCR has already been passed)
    • Community COVID-19 Measures – BCR Template 
  • Full briefing note and BCR templates can be found on the NAN website. 
  • NAPS is still required to do business as usual at the community level in addition to the COVID-19 enforcement of community public health and safety measures.  


  • Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is working directly with communities to assess surge infrastructure needs and the temporary repurposing of existing infrastructure.
  • ISC is offering support for the repurposing of infrastructure in community as well as support for the purchasing of necessary supplies, such as cots.
  • To access this support, please contact Mandy Wirta


  • Grand Chief Fiddler will be on Wawatay Radio, Tuesdays at 12:05 EST & Thursdays at 1:05 EST.
  • COVID-19 Tools and Resources are being translated into Oji-Cree, Ojibway, and Cree to assist the communities in spreading awareness and public health messaging on COVID-19. They are posted on the NAN website under COVID-19 Tools and Resources as they become available.

Urban Community Members

  • NAN has posted specific information for members living off-reserve in urban centres across northwestern Ontario on the NAN website.
    • This includes how to find shelters, food banks, social and mental health services, as well as Indigenous organizations that can assist.
  • Please continue to access our website as we are constantly updating it with the most up to date information:

NEXT CALL: April 15, 2020 | 1p.m. EST/ 12p.m. CST

Download bulletin below:

NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- April 13, 2020

Stay updated.

Subscribe to be notified when new updates are available.